Chelsea won their second Champions League trophy last season, surprising everyone and beating Man City in the final.
Only one side has ever retained the Champions League in its era, but with some big players joining the club, can Chelsea become the second? Let us have a look at their chances and the teams that will be looking at stopping them.
Most of Europe’s big hitters have qualified for the 2021/22 Champions League. City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool all qualified again, with it being final day heartbreak for Leicester once more.
All of the big European sides such as Real Madrid, PSG, Barca, Bayern, Juve etc have all qualified, leaving now big-name sides out of the competition.
Premier League Contenders?
All odds listed are with PaddyPower unless stated.
Man City – 7/2
The favourites not just in England, but for the whole competition, this season are Man City. They got to the final last season, for the first time in their history, but were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea. The club’s main aim is to win this trophy and will be expecting to be there for thereabouts again this year.
City brought in Jack Grealish for £100 million who is looking to have settled in well already. They are however still without a recognised striker and in the Champions League as we saw last season, could be a problem. Pep’s side should be the favourites though and will be confident of going one better.
Chelsea – 15/2
The Blues have been really impressive ever since the arrival of manager Thomas Tuchel. He took over halfway through the season and changed this Chelsea team into an incredible side. They are now very hard to beat and in the Champions League, as they proved, this is a fantastic trait to have.
Lukaku has rejoined the club, who can be the goalscorer they have been needing for a while. Atletico’s Saul Niguez has also joined, who will help bolster the midfield. On their day, Chelsea can beat anyone, their only downfall could be squad depth at times in key positions.
Liverpool – 9/1
Jurgen Klopp’s side are at a very interesting 9/1. They now have all their injured players back and have also brought in Konate from RB Leipzig. When Liverpool have their best team out, very few can beat them. Klopp has taken them to three European finals since he has been here and will fancy his chances of a fourth.
Liverpool have shown that this side can compete with the very best and also win this competition. At 9/1 we think it’s a very generous price for a side that should have no worries about making it to the knockout stages.
Man United – 12/1
Last season United lost in the final of the Europa League, but since then a lot has changed at the club. Their two biggest weaknesses on the pitch, were right wing and centre half. This summer they have addressed this by bringing in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, two world class players in those positions. On top of that, they have also signed the most successful Champions League history, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now, United still have areas on the pitch they can improve but with these new arrivals, anything can happen. Once you get to the knockout stages with Ronaldo in your side, you’d be a brave man to bet against them.
First Time Winner?
The competition has been won by different teams in 2020 (Bayern Munich) and 2021 (Chelsea). On both occasions, there has been a side in the final who has never won the competition before. This year can we get a first time winner?
PSG – 7/2
The Champions League is the one they really want. This summer PSG have been very active in the transfer market, bringing in Ramos, Hakimi, Wijnaldum, Donnarumma and finally Lionel Messi. A front three of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar is unbelievable and if they get going, it’ll be hard to stop them.
Atletico Madrid – 22/1
Having reached two Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016 and losing them both to Real Madrid, Diego Simeone is still desperate to win the competition. Antoine Griezzmann has resigned for the club and will be hoping to get back to his best there. Atletico are a hard side to beat and always get to the knockouts so could be a great outside bet.
Atalanta B.C. – 66/1
The Italian side were once again top scorers in Serie A last season and are hugely entertaining. When you score as many goals as they do, they have every chance fo doing well. They are in a tough group, but one that they could get out of in second place potentially.
Other Clubs In The Running
Real Madrid – 14/1
The most successful club in the history of the competition, shouldn’t be over looked. Ancelotti has returned to the club, with the aim of taking them back to the top again. A front three with Benzema, Bale and Hazard is a very dangerous one. They have made some good signings this summer and could surprise everyone.
Barcelona – 22/1
Despite losing Messi this summer, Barcelona are still a good club. They brought in Depay and Aguero this summer, to fantastic goal scorers and players that will have a positive impact on the club. Barca are at the beginning again in terms of making a new team but can go far in this competition.
Juventus – 25/1
Allegri is another manager who has returned to their old club. Juventus lost Ronaldo this summer, but many thought he hampered them anyway. They still have a fantastic squad which includes Dybala and Chiesa. They won’t be anyones favourites but they are still one to look out for.
Players To Watch
Ronaldo has scored an incredible 134 goals in the competition with 3 different clubs. He is back at the club where he first announced himself and will no doubt be amongst the goals again this year.
The Dortmund forward has 20 goals in just 16 games in the competition. He is a goal scoring machine and has broken plenty of Champions League records. You can guarantee he’ll be scoring even more this year.
Messi has scored 120 goals in the competition, the second most in history. The forward is at a new club where the main aim is to win this competition. It’ll be interesting to see how the greatest of all time gets on someone new!
Despite being 33 years old, Lewandowksi is arguably in his peak now. He has 73 Champions League goals to his name and is in a team that score for fun. Bayern will be desperate to win back this trophy and are capable of doing so.
The new Man United winger was fantastic for Dortmund and performed very well in the Champions League. He is an exciting young player and was signed to do well in big games and they don’t get much bigger than this competition.
When Are The Champions League Draws?
11/12/2021: Round of 16 draw
18/03/2022: Quarter-final and semi-final draw
Where Is The 2021 Champions League Final?
The final will take place at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The game ill take place on Saturday, May 28th, 2022.
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